Violent repeat offender who shot a police officer finally denied bond – so what took so long?

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AURORA, IL – Lemont Stewart was recently arrested by Aurora police. He has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, armed violence, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, resisting a peace officer and being an armed habitual offender.

Some may wonder what made him a felon in the first place.

He was convicted for attempted murder after he shot an Aurora cop back in 2002.

According to the Daily Herald, Stewart said he believed that two undercover police officers were gang members trying to kill him, so he shot at them. One of his rounds grazed an officer’s head.

We have been able to find very little detail about that shooting and whether or not that officer was able to return to duty.

On his most recent charges, Stewart is being held without bail.

Here is what we know about the events leading up to his arrest.

Police recognized Stewart as a passenger that pulled out of the parking lot of a local hotel. Officers knew he had an outstanding warrant.

According to a release from the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, police pulled up next to the vehicle Stewart was riding in. At that time “the defendant immediately exited the car and began running.”

After a short foot pursuit, police were able to apprehend Stewart. A pat down revealed that he had five 9mm rounds in his pockets.

Officers then searched the vehicle, finding a backpack belonging to Stewart. It contained a loaded firearm in the vehicle. Police also allege that the convicted felon handed the driver a bag of cocaine (thirteen grams) to hold while he was attempting to evade police.

The State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Aurora Police Chief Keith Cross both had something to say regarding the arrest and the denial of bond for Stewart.

“For the second time this month, a DuPage County judge has granted our motion and denied bond for a convicted felon accused of illegal possession of a handgun,” Berlin said.

“The law is crystal clear, as a convicted felon, Mr. Stewart is prohibited from ever possessing a firearm again and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that would allow him to do so, as alleged in this case.

I thank the Aurora Police Department for their vigilant efforts on this case that allegedly took a dangerous weapon out of the hands of a convicted felon.

I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Lee Roupas and Kelly McKay for their work in preparing a strong case against Mr. Stewart.”

The idea of a court denying bond to a felon with a weapon or other violent crime charges is a welcome change from what we have been seeing in places like New York, California and Houston, where liberal judges are turning people like Stewart loose as fast as humanly possible.

“We have zero tolerance for felons in possession of a gun, especially in the hands of a man convicted of shooting one of our officers in 2002,” Cross said.

“I want to commend our officers for spotting the suspect, safely taking him into custody and taking an illegal gun off our streets. I also want to thank DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin’s office for their assistance in helping us keep our community safe.”

Stewart is set to appear in court on August 17th. We will follow this story and provide updates as they become available.

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For examples of individuals that judges let walk on little to no bond, we invite you to

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Here’s your “bail reform”: Juvenile with violent history chokes a cop, walks free the next day

Manhattan, NY – Patrick Lynch, President of the New York City Police Benevolent Association was not holding back in recent comments.

“If New Yorkers want to know why the chaos in the transit system is not improving more quickly, this is why.”

What is the “why” he was referring to?

Over the weekend, a couple of 16-year-old kids were seen trying to skip the turnstile in the New York Metro System 125th Street/Lexington Avenue station. Police detained them and the young man became verbally aggressive.

When officers attempted to arrest the youth, he became combative.

That is when he squared off and began to throw punches at the male officer.

His female friend then engaged with the female officer on the scene. She also managed to land a few punches on the male officer before being pulled away.

As is the norm in places like New York, when the police are involved, bystanders sat idly by, recording things on their cell phones rather than offering any form of assistance.

The video we are about to show may be disturbing.

Now that you have seen the video, you can understand Lynch’s anger. Cops are literally being assaulted by kids for doing their jobs. But that isn’t all that had Lynch riled up.

As we are seeing as the new norm in many Democrat-controlled cities, the young man was finally subdued, arrested and taken to jail.

He was charged with assault on a police officer, obstruction of governmental administration, and resisting arrest.

Turns out, he has previous arrests for possession of a loaded gun and robbery. But that just doesn’t matter in places like New York.

As reported by the New York Post, the next day, the young man was released. He didn’t post bail, because they didn’t set one. The 16-year-old with a developing pattern for violence was released on personal recognizance.

That move by the courts led to Lynch’s follow up comment.

“The criminals underground know they can get in a brawl, choke a cop and be back out in hours. Cops are putting ourselves on the line to make the subways safer, but we are feeling abandoned by a justice system that won’t back us up.”

The girl that was also involved in the assault was charged with the same three counts. There has been no word on her status.

Both officers were taken to a local hospital and were treated and released. The male officer received numerous areas of bruising and swelling.

Not everyone was overly concerned by the assault on the officers, with one Twitter user commenting:

“That’s literally what they’re paid for.”

And that single comment sums up much of the misguided thinking aimed at law enforcement: “Hey, this is what cops signed up for, right?”

Law Enforcement Today will continue to follow this story to see if the suspect shows up for his next hearing or if he skips out.

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For more on the dangers of personal recognizance releases, we encourage you to

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Two suspected fentanyl dealers from Mexican cartel skip arraignment after walking on cashless bail

 

TULARE COUNTY, CA – Two Washington men were arrested during a traffic stop in Tulare Country, California, between Bakersfield and Fresno.

The 25-year-old Jose Zendejas and Benito Madrigal, 19, were caught on June 24th with approximately 150,000 fentanyl pills.

They were released on their own recognizance less than a day of their arrest, despite having been busted with nearly $750,000 worth of drugs in their car. They were also in possession of two kilograms of cocaine.

They were each charged with one count of sale/transportation/offer to sell controlled substance (fentanyl); for the cocaine, one count of transport for sale/non-contiguous county (with the special allegations that the weight exceeded one kilogram) and one count of sale/transportation/offer to sell controlled substance (with the special allegations that the weight exceeded one kilogram); and one count of false compartment activity.

If convicted, they could face up to 14 years in prison.

Their bail was originally set at $1M each, but the county’s probation department’s risk assessment deemed them both low risk for flight.

Fast forward to Thursday, July 21st. That is when their arraignment was scheduled.

Want to take a wild guess as to who did not show up?

Three-quarters of a million dollars-worth of drugs, out of state suspects, and personal recognizance bonds. What could go wrong?

The Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said he was not anticipating the pair in court. He blamed California’s soft-on-crime legislation for the gaff.

“I didn’t learn about the order until it was far too late,” he told Fox News regarding the PR bond.

“I couldn’t believe we had 150,00 fentanyl pills — one of the most dangerous epidemics facing our nation today — with people in custody that we may potentially be able to impact the future of this type of drug trafficking organization… and we let them go.”

Sheriff Boudreaux was joined in his frustration by the county’s District Attorney, Tim Ward.

“Although there is a need for a pre-trial release program, to do it covertly in the middle of the night in a very nontransparent matter is extremely dangerous,” Ward said.

“What we discovered here was that it [the defendant’s release] was occurring based on a decision without any foundation of the facts of the case. And I think going forward, I think everyone is realizing that’s a mistake and should not continue.” 

Now, warrants have been issued for both men and the judge has already rescinded the original bail order and has stated that if they are apprehended, they will be held on no bond.

Ward told Fox that the criminals have to have some skin in the game. Otherwise, they will continue to walk if given the opportunity.

“The problem is once again the legislature and the state of California are trying to go down some social experiment born on the back of law-abiding citizens,” Ward said.

“I go out on a limb and say that had these defendants been subject to the million bail that was in place when they were arrested, and they made bail based on that amount, they would have some skin in the game, some financial obligation and motivation to return to court.” 

Both Tulare County officials say that they were not consulted prior to the June release.

This is an ongoing story. We will continue to follow for updates. Should Zendejas and Madrigal be captured, we will provide those details here.

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